Narrator: Jim Frangione

Audio Review: The Chosen by J. R. Ward

Posted May 8, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 2 Comments

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audio Review: The Chosen by J. R. WardThe Chosen by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #15
Narrator: Jim Frangione
Published by Random House Audio on April 4, 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Length: 12 hours, 30 minutes
Source: the Publisher
Audio | Goodreads
four-stars
five-flames

A scorching, forbidden love threatens to tear a rift through the Black Dagger Brotherhood in this highly anticipated installment of J. R. Ward’s New York Times bestselling series.

Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convicted of treason against the Blind King, is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Yet after a life marked by cruelty and evil deeds, he accepts his soldier’s fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla.

Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor’s life. But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear—even her role of mother to her precious young. Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever love. Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paving the way for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.

As a dangerous old enemy returns to Caldwell, and the identity of a new deity is revealed, nothing is certain or safe in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, not even true love . . . or destinies that have long seemed set in stone.

 

Wow. What a crazy, train wreck ride! What else would you expect from the Brotherhood?

 
I have to come clean and admit I’ve never been a Xcor fan and have hated Layla’s duplicity about her relationship with him. Because these stories have a multitude of storylines, I wasn’t concerned about these two characters being the major focus as I was counting on the others to hold my interest. Xcor launched into to this series as a cruel and brutal man, no way was there any possibility he could redeem himself in my mind and it irritated me that Layla betrayed the Brotherhood by continuing to see him. *sigh* I caved.

 
Layla’s revelation was received explosively, much more than I ever anticipated and my imagination was pretty creative. It set off a series of events that unsettled the Brotherhood and beyond, which hooked me through the end. It changed my opinion of some of the other characters (yes, that means you, Qhuinn), no matter how this ended.

 
There were quite a few controversial situations in this story, some many may take serious issue with and I refuse to rehash the details. I’m not sure how I feel about some of them but I was very much drawn into this book. The storytelling is superb, the pace breakneck, the drama…well, dramatic. The narrator, Jim Frangione, continues to nail the characters and the crazy dialogue. I’ll never go back to reading these books!

 
I enjoyed this book immensely, even while some of the characters’ directions angered me or offended my sensibilities. But isn’t that what a good story is supposed to do? I also consider it a miracle that Ward made me end up rooting for Xcor and I’m still unsettled about that. I’ll be waiting in line for the next one. Love it or hate it, you will not be bored.

 

Listen to a clip!

About Jim Frangione

Jim Frangione was born on January 26, 1958 in Hyannis, Massachusetts, USA. He is an actor, known for Transamerica (2005), Heist (2001) and The Spanish Prisoner (1997).

Jim has recorded over 100 audiobooks. He loves being part of the Recorded Books family. In addition to Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie Mysteries and his new young adult series, the Bowser and Birdie stories, he is also the narrator for J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood Series and many others. Jim is a NYC-based actor and co-artistic director of the Berkshire Playwrights Lab, a new play development forum in Great Barrington, MA. He’s performed on TV, in many of the plays and films of David Mamet, with NY’s Atlantic Theater Company, On and Off Broadway, and at many theaters across the country.

About J.R. Ward

J.R. Ward is a #1 New York Times and USAToday Best Selling author of erotic paranormal romance. She lives in the south with her incredibly supportive husband and her beloved golden retriever. After graduating from law school, she began working in healthcare in Boston and spent many years as Chief of Staff of one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation. Writing has always been her passion and her idea of heaven is a whole day of nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


Audio Review: The Beast by J. R. Ward

Audio Review: The Beast by J. R. Ward

Posted June 6, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 6 Comments

      Rhage and Mary are the central focus of the story with a few other secondary plots. Their’s is sweet, heartwarming and uplifting, sorely needed after the last depressing saga. I was hoping to see Assail reappear and he makes a heroic comeback here. He was so deeply mired in the muck I worried that redemption would be elusive. Hope springs eternal after this story. Layla’s pregnancy provided some tense moments and her relationship with Xcor continues unresolved. Lastly, most of the Brothers are featured in the story, some more prominently than others. What I really enjoyed was seeing them interact meaningfully with each other without an eminent threat in the background. While it lacked the intense action typically found in the series, this […]


Audio Review: Blood Kiss by J. R. Ward

Audio Review: Blood Kiss by J. R. Ward

Posted February 23, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 8 Comments

       I wasn’t exactly certain how this series would differentiate itself from its parent. I’m still not quite sure but my best guess is that this is the next generation of the Brotherhood. It begins with the new slate of potential recruits who vie to participate in the training school being started by the Brotherhood. It was the most exciting aspect of the story with some truly frightening episodes that determine who moves forward. The central romantic focus involved the new and the old. Representing the new are Paradise, the receptionist and daughter of Abalone, the First Advisor to Wrath, and Craeg, one of the recruits. Their initial attraction reminded me of the earlier romances in the BDB series, having those inexplicable strong connections. […]


The Shadows by J. R. Ward

The Shadows by J. R. Ward

Posted April 16, 2015 by Jonetta in Book Review | 4 Comments

    This is a difficult review to write without being spoiler-ish but I’ll give it my best shot. Trez & Selena This is primarily Trez and Selena’s story and most of the book is devoted to them. What worked? I wasn’t ever really invested in either character (he’s a manwhore on steroids, she’s one of those seemingly vacuous Chosen) so the fact that I cared deeply for both by the end of the book was a fairly large feat. It’s beautifully written, evoking some breathtaking emotions that caught me off guard. It’s also what didn’t work about the story and you’ll just have to read it to understand my meaning. iAm’s role in the story deserved…more. He’s impacted significantly.   Other plot line highlights Two […]


Audio Review: The King by J. R. Ward

Audio Review: The King by J. R. Ward

Posted April 24, 2014 by Jonetta in Book Review | 17 Comments

  Last year, I read Lupdilup’s (from Hot Listens) interview with Jim Frangione, the narrator of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and was extremely impressed with his approach to recording. I made a mental note to consider listening to one of the books, even though I’d read the first 11 and the novella. So, when I was offered the opportunity to preview the audiobook version of this book, I seized the moment.   Narration Let’s just deal with the audiobook experience upfront. First, it was a revelation to hear the true pronunciation of some of the character names. Who knew Xcor was pronounced “Score”? I’d thought it “Ex-Cor”or “Z-Cor.” Plus, I now have clarity around all that odd terminology so common to the series. I […]